An investigation into the scale effects on cavitation inception and noise in marine propellers
This thesis presents an investigation into the phenomena of scale effects on cavitation inception and noise of marine propellers. The overall aim is to extend the understanding of these phenomena and improve predicting methods. The investigations, which are largely experimental in nature, are restricted to the tip vortex and sheet types of cavitation. Chapter 1 includes a state-of-the-art review of the scale effect studies based on published papers to form the basis for the main objectives and structure of thesis. The objectives require systematic tests in a cavitation tunnel to explore the viscous scale effects contributing to the phenomena, particularly for the effect of the free-stream turbulence, and to include this effect in extrapolation procedures. Chapter 2 is concernedw ith the background flow measurementsin the cavitation tunnel under the effect of systematically varying levels of the free-stream turbulence generated by using wire meshes. This background information is obtained using a Laser Doppler Anemometry; measurements made with the latter provide a systematic basis on which the analyses of the cavitation inception and noise experiments can be performed. In Chapter 3, a set of cavitation inception tests is described with a NACA66 rectangular foil whose cross-section represents a typical blade section of a marine propeller. The inception measurements for systematically varying levels of the free-stream turbulence and that of the leading edge roughness are presented for different angles of attack and the results are discussed. Chapter 4 includes another set of cavitation inception experiments with a 5-bladed of model propeller of the Meridian Series. The measurements are taken for varying levels of the free-stream turbulence, blade roughness and dissolved gas contents. The results are analysed and discussed with a specific emphasis on the similarities between the effects of the free-stream turbulence and blade roughness. Chapter 5 presents a set of systematic noise measurements, with the same test propeller under the similar effects of the free-stream turbulence, blade roughness and dissolved gas content, using a single external hydrophone. The analyseso f these measurements,in terms of the tunnel background noise and net propeller noise, are presented and discussed for two operating conditions representing a typical non-cavitating and cavitating noise spectrum. In Chapter 6, a semi-empirical tool is developed to predict the inception of cavitation including the effect of the free-stream turbulence based on Lighthill's Leading Edge Correction factor (Lighthill, 1951). This tool is correlated with the inception tests results of the model propeller and its potential to be used as an extrapolator for the full-scale prediction is discussed. An attempt is made to establish a correspondence between the level of the free-stream turbulence and that of the blade roughness and its impact on the current test procedures is discussed. This chapter also includes an analysis of the similarity criteria to incorporate the effect of the free-stream turbulence in the inception of cavitation using the Dimensional Analysis procedure. In Chapter 7, a general review of the study together with the main conclusions from the thesis are presented and some recommendations for future work are made.